i went to water my community garden plot in the early afternoon. i bumped into helen, who gave me some golden raspberries and introduced me to flowering ironweed. afterwards i followed a female monarch butterfly around the garden, trying to get some good snapshots. it seemed to like zinnias, flying from one patch to another, but wouldn't open her wings.

from there i biked directly to belmont. it was an excuse to get some exercise, but also so i could to see if the woodchuck had breached our defenses. i'm happy to report that at least for today we were able to prevent the woodchuck from getting into our backyard. i could see some empty patches where it tried to dig across the eastern fence, but it couldn't get through the 6in deep of wire fencing. it also didn't try to get across from the chicken wire fencing behind the cypress tree, which was blocked by 4 bricks. later i switched out the bricks with some large boulders i found in the backyard.

i removed a wilted leaf from the southern squash patch. slicing the stem open, i found a fat vine borer worm. i left it alongside the bird bath, hoping maybe some bird might eat it. but not satisfied with that outcome, i took out the fresnel lens i always have in my wallet packet and torched the sucker using the power of the sun.

at least 4 new lotus leaf sprouts have formed. some are growing from underneath the pots, and a few seem like they might potentially be aerial leaves as well. i guess i'll find out in the next few days. out of curiosity i took a look at the underside of the aerial leaf. unlike the coin leaves, it doesn't have as much red pigmentation.

the bottle gourds are also racing to the finish line, trying to set some gourds before the growing season is over. one gourd in particular is far larger than any of the other gourds and seem to be getting bigger every day. my father says at some point we have to prune off some of the gourds otherwise none of them will ripen in time; my own philosophy is to let them grow naturally, in case we have a warm autumn and can harvest more gourds. bottle gourds are purely decorative: we tried eating one once, the bitterest thing we've ever tasted, not fit for human consumption.

after watering the plants i took a survey of the buttercup squashes. i left by 3:30pm. i stopped by the cafe to report to my father the status of the backyard. i also got a bubble ice tea while i was there. my mother was cooking up some sushi rice and was going to make some sushi but the rice wouldn't be ready until half an hour. so i waited, but when she took out the rice, it was overcooked. she also forgot to defrost the imitation crab meat, so sushi will have to wait until tomorrow.

i got back home by 4:40pm. it was warm inside the house but cooler outside so i opened the windows to get some fresh air. i was tempted to turn on the air conditioner. after this week the temperature doesn't seem like it's going to get hot anymore (70/80's), i'm tempted to uninstall the AC, get a jumpstart on my autumn preparations.

with brexit just months away and north ireland soon to find itself in a difficult spot, i've been researching the troubles, downloading a few books as well as movies. i watched hunger (2008) with michael fassbender. a little tough to stomach, but interesting nevertheless, including a 17-minute single take dialogue scene between bobby sands and his priest. after that i couldn't stomach another northern ireland movie so i trashed all the ones i downloaded, including michael collins (1996) with liam neeson. i'll do some reading instead, including making sense of the troubles by david mckittrick.

for dinner i heated up 15 pizza rolls. i was going to make some pasta but i wasn't that hungry, and eating all those carbs on a hot night isn't very pleasant. afterwards i had some watermelon i brought back from the cafe earlier.

it was trash night and i threw out all my old kombucha scobies from the fridge. they're probably not even viable after all this time. the last time i made kombucha was january 2015, so more than 4 years ago. if we ever decide to make kombucha again, we'll just get a fresh one online or locally via craig's list.